New to Chickens!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by amandarruss, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. amandarruss

    amandarruss New Egg

    Mar 11, 2016
    I am researching because I want to build a coop and have a few chickens. I want chickens for eggs, not meat. Can someone break down the basics for me with the terminology and what is important to know? What does broody mean? How often do they lay eggs? What are important do's and don'ts?
  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015

    First off I would recommend stopping by the learning center, they many helpful articles you could read. To answer your first questions:

    Broody: When a hen is broody she wants to sit on eggs to hatch and raise chicks.

    Hens lay an average of 5 eggs week or more, during the cold seasons they tend to stop due to less sunlight hours and weather temps. Also when they are molting they will stop laying so they fully feather themselves again. (here is a helpful article about molting nformation on Molting Chickens). Before you get your hens or chicks you need to make sure you have a safe coop and area for you hens to run around in. Also make sure you have the time and commitment to raise hens.
  3. amandarruss

    amandarruss New Egg

    Mar 11, 2016
    Thank you! I have some research on coop requirements. Just curious if there were tips from chicken owners of important things to do and not do. I am not interested in having a rooster and only wanting them for eggs. Thank you again for helping.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    [​IMG]When I started researching (I started the summer before hatching my chicks the following spring.) I just started cruising the threads on BYC. It was much easier for me to simply enter a topic in the forum navigation bar at the top of the page than to post a specific question. By following the threads, you will gain much exposure to many different styles of animal husbandry, and be able to choose a method that will match your style. By approaching your research this way, you will also be exposed to answers to questions that you didn't even know you had! For example: Did you know that if you have the confidence to re-wire a lamp (if given good instructions) you can build a very good incubator for very little cost? Did you know that you can brood chicks with a heat lamp? And that those chicks can be brooded outside instead of stinking up your house? Even if you never intend to have a rooster, you COULD hatch your own chicks, either with a broody hen, or with an incubator. But, of course then, you'd need to have a contingency plan to deal with any roosters produced from hatching your own eggs.

    I have a few questions for you: How many eggs will you want/week? Are you going to share (or sell) them with family/friends/neighbors? What will you do with your chickens when they stop laying? The answer to this last question is one of the most important ones. A lot of first time chicken owners fail to answer this question, and are appalled to realize that 2 years after getting started, they have a flock of old birds who are declining in health, and no longer laying. Your choice of birds will affect how long they will continue to provide you with eggs. No matter what kind of birds you choose, you will need to buy replacement birds every couple of years to keep production up. One research tool you will like is Henderson's Chicken Breeds chart.

    You've chosen a fun and productive hobby. IMO the learning curve is half of the fun!
    1 person likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    Agrees with LG, just start reading threads in the different basics forums:
    Take everything with a grain (or half a shaker) of salt, there are many different ways to keep chickens.
    Many are correct, many are not....take in all the info until you start seeing things repeated that make sense.

    There are 2 great articles, by good authors, linked in my signature on Space and Ventilation....
    .....2 of the most important aspects for beginners to learn about. Check them out.

    I would also advise you to learn to use the advanced search, it will greatly reduce(tho not entirely eliminate) the time you have to spend reading thru a bunch of chatter.
    Here's an example to get you started:
    advanced search>titles only>broody

    The learning curve can be overwhelming the first year, lots of little things that are fairly simple once you learn them.

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